1987 – Stella Neill, RSM, was greatly troubled by the inadequacy of safe, affordable low-income housing in Des Moines. A small group wanted to open a shelter for homeless families, but Stella believed that a shelter alone would provide only a temporary solution. Founding board members Fred Gay, Dean Wright, Patti McKee and Sid Drumheller shared Sister Stella's view, and together they created the vision for Anawim Housing. The nonprofit organization was incorporated in 1987, Sister Stella was named Executive Director.
1988 – Families move into the first two Anawim Housing homes in November
1991 – Anawim Housing builds North Park Place, consisting of six duplexes
1993 – 21 single-family homes are built at 13th & Forest.
1996 – Anawim Housing takes over Mid-City Duplexes, adding 28 units.
1997 – Anawim Housing received national recognition for our renovation of The Maine apartment building, which became an anchor for our revitalization efforts on Sixth Avenue. The Maine was the first of three Anawim buildings on the National Register of Historic Places to be restored.
2000 – Anawim Housing continues work on 6th Avenue renovating New Lawn apartments and the Kromer Flats building, which had stood vacant for a number of years. Anawim Housing's work on Sixth Avenue and nearby streets has continued with new housing construction and renovations of duplexes and apartment buildings.
2002 – Anawim Housing purchases and renovates the Riverbend properties.
2007 - In our 20th anniversary year, Anawim Housing completed our first-ever Capital Campaign, raising $3.5 million to invest in housing stock maintenance and long-term rental relief. The Campaign funded required capital improvements to 96 Anawim Housing properties — including roofs, windows and heating & cooling systems — that will enable these homes to serve low-income families for 20 more years. Additional monies were used to create the Sr. Stella Neill Fund, which provides relief for Anawim tenants who need a hand in hard times. The Fund, which is held by the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, will enable more low-income families to establish homes in current and future Anawim Housing. 67 units are purchased at Pioneer Woods in southeast Des Moines.
2009 – The Nine Homes in Nine Days project takes off. Anawim Housing partners with Hubbell Realty to do accomplish an incredible feat. With hundreds of volunteers, 9 townhomes were built in 9 days, generously donated to Anawim Housing by Hubbell Realty.
2010 – Russ Frazier is named Anawim Housing’s new President. Anawim Housing gets its own office along with six attached apartments.
2011 – 16 town-homes are added at 22nd and Forest Avenue.
2012 – Anawim Housing celebrates its 25th anniversary. Forest & Fields town-homes are added on Hubbell Avenue and Forest Avenue.
2013 – 60 Affordable housing units are added to the east side of Des Moines at The Crest at Baker Creek apartment complex.
2015 – Ceremonial groundbreaking for The Legacy Project, located at 1511 6th Ave. This project will result in the creation of 5 new townhomes. It will be Anawim Housing's first privately funded building project. Anawim Housing manages 630 affordable rental units in the Des Moines area. More than 1,700 adults and children are served.
2016 – Ceremonial groundbreaking for the Brickstones at Riverbend project, located at 513 Forest Ave. This project will be a 30-unit senior housing complex, located right in the heart of 6th Avenue, where Anawim originally got its start. Construction continues on the Legacy Project townhomes, set to be completed in Fall 2017. Anawim develops third party management company - Allterra Property Solutions. Allterra manages Drake Real Estate, adding 106 units and 8 commercial spaces to our portfolio.
2017 – We celebrated our 30th year! Legacy Park project provides $11.3 million in renovations to 137 Anawim units. Anawim cuts the ribbon on their new office on 7th St. Anawim celebrated 30 years with the completion of the Legacy Project town homes and Brickstones at Riverbend adding 35 units. Allterra Property Solutions manages Wilkins Building and Fort Des Moines Living for Blackbird Investments, adding 202 units to our portfolio.
Today - Anawim Housing and Allterra Property Solutions own and/or manage a total of 1,178 units, providing homes for over 2,000 individuals. Construction is set to complete for Anawim's first 3 affordable housing projects outside of Des Moines, in: Cedar Rapids, Ottawa, and Sioux City.